Tier List FAQ by Cruorois

Version: 1.6 | Updated: 06/01/06 | Printable Version

Dynasty Warriors 5
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  T     I   E     RRRR    L       I       S   T

Table of Contents:
1. Initial
   1a. Version History
   1b. Introduction and Tier Guidelines
   1c. Terminology
2. Tier List
3. Analysis
   3a. Top Tier
   3b. 1st Tier
   3c. 2nd Tier
   3d. 3rd Tier
   3e. 4th Tier
   3f. 5th Tier
   3g. Bottom Tier
   3h. Tips and Hints
4. FAQ
5. Special Thanks/Credits, Copyright and Contact Information

1. Initial

First and foremost, I'd like to say that by no means is this tier list
my work alone. It was done by the combined efforts of members of the
Dynasty Warriors 5 Message Board, all whom we be given credit
individually in the end.
Also, if, anywhere in the analysis section you think you could do a
better job, send yours to me at sang_demon@hotmail.com and I'll review

1a. Version History

~1.0: FAQ submitted nigh complete, only needing a few strategies.
Those are Liu Bei, Xiahou Dun, Zhou Yu, Cao Ren, Huang Gai, Sun Shang
Xiang, Zhang He, Zhen Ji, Lu Xun, Sun Ce, and Zhang Jiao. All told,

~1.5: Tier List revised, and all strategies finished. Analysis section
revised, replacing Abusable with Signature. The Tier List is by no
means etched in stone, contact me to inquire about attempting to raise
your favourite character. I guarantee nothing, though.

~1.6: Tier List undergone a few minor changes, namely Diao Chan,
Xiahou Dun, and Da Qiao.

1b. Introduction and Tier Guidelines

We created this tier list as a rough guide for the worth of each
character on the battlefield. These characters are judged by several
-	Their 4th Weapon, and how well they can use it.
-	Their susceptibility to juggling, and their own juggling skills.
-	How well that character performs in a crowd.
-	That characters attack speed and attack range.
-	The offensive and defensive worth of that character.
- 	Versatility is judged slightly over overall effectiveness.
-	All officers are tested on Hard Mode, 5 star stages. The reason
 	being that Chaos mode overvalues defensive strategies.
-	Lastly, and most importantly, each character is judged when used
 	to the best of our ability.

1c. Terminology

This is some of the terms we use:

Bold: On the Message Boards, we used Bold to differentiate the
characters who are above he rest of their tier. In this, it's replaced
by parenthesis.

360: A 360 degree attack, a full circle.

AoE: Area of Effect, for attacks.

Hitbox: Think a box. Where the attack would hit, on that box. For
example, is it purely vertical, or horizontal.

Peons: Common soldiers.

Crowd-control: How a character can stay alive in a crowd.
Crowd-clearing: The effectiveness of killing or ridding yourself of

S String: The attack combo used by pressing square for a total of 9
S#: A number of the S String which corresponds to a certain move.
For example, S5 would be the fifth button press.
C1: A simple triangle press.
C2: One square, one triangle.
C3: Two squares, up to three triangles. Untapped is only using one
C4: Three squares, one triangle.
C5: Four squares, one triangle.
C6: Five squares, one triangle. Can sometimes be 5 triangles.
HS: Horse attacks, by pressing square.
HC: Horse charge, by pressing triangle.
HM: Horse Musou, by pressing circle.
JA: Jump attack, by pressing square in the air.
JC: Jump Charge, by pressing triangle in the air.

Abusable move: A very good move that excels at what it does. For
example, a Musou that goes above normal Musou slaughtering to pure
greatness, like Zuo Ci's or Pang De's. An abusable is a move for all

OHKO: One-hit knock out. A move that will kill something in one hit.

Untapped/finisher: The act of using an attack for the minimal time
allotted, like tapping Circle to use Musou instead of holding it down,
or pressing triangle once for C3 or C6.

Combo: Sometimes used to refer to the parts of a C3 that can be
extended by pressing Triangle, but usually used to describe many
attacks chained together.

Horse combat: Mounted attacks from a horse, Square, Triangle,
and Musou.

Juggling: When the target is in the air, they will receive less far
less damage. To confirm this, use an S String. Then, use a C2 and then
an S String. Even with the C2 factored in, the grounded S String will
deal more damage.

Signature: The best move(s) of a character.

2. Tier List

Firstly, seeing this () around a characters name means they are
exceptional to the rest of their tier.

Secondly, if you would like to see the method to our madness,
GeneralGuan has kindly archived the majority of our (so far...)

Tier Definitions:
Top Tier = Uber, practically unbeatable. These characters can breeze
through a 5-star stage on Hard practically untouched. Nearly every
move they have in their arsenal is abusable, and they are defensive
strongholds and offensive monsters. These heroes attain heights the
others can only dream of.
1st Tier = Very well-rounded, these are the crème da la crème of the
Dynasty Warriors. Only outstripped by two officers, they possess
excellent offensive and defensive moves, and blow the person using
them away. They usually have several abusable moves, and just reek of
versatility and effectiveness.
2nd Tier = These are the ones who stand out from the crowd. They
usually possess a few offensive or defensive moves, and usually have
at least one abusable. They are pretty well balanced, and are either
very effective or versatile.
3rd Tier = 3rd Tier are the ones just behind 2nd. They have a fair
amount of versatility along with a way to wreck havoc with needed.
They may be unbalanced, but all have some trick up their sleeves.
4th Tier = 4th Tier are usually held back by some disadvantage that
stops them from rising to 3rd Tier, but are still good characters in
their own right. They have either great offensive or defensive
strategies, and sometimes simply good in both. They may or may not
have a standout move, but they work with what they have.
5th Tier = 5th Tier are the ones that are usually lagging in this game.
Their advantages make up for their drawbacks, and some more so. They
all have a weakness that can be exploited by the enemy, but have a
great move to make up for it. All offence no defence and vice versa
characters are here.
Bottom Tier = Bringing up the rear, these characters are the
downtrodden, the ruined in this game or otherwise. Consisting of Xu
Zhu (who has always been horrid), to some of the female officers who
have been cripple by their Heavy weapons, rendering them useless.
Zhang Jiao is here, but maybe he has a hope.
Though they are Bottom Tier, these characters are by no means beyond
redemption. Under a skilled player who specializes in them, they can
be used just as, if not more, efficiently than those in higher tiers.
However, the masters of the higher ranked officers shall nearly always
be better.
Top Tier: Lu Bu, Ma Chao

1st Tier: Cao Cao, Gan Ning, Guan Ping, Jiang Wei, (Pang De),
(Wei Yan), Xu Huang, Zhu Rong, (Zuo Ci)

2nd Tier: Dian Wei, Guan Yu, Ling Tong, (Liu Bei), (Sima Yi),
Xiahou Dun, Yuan Shao, Zhang Liao, (Zhao Yun), Zhou Tai,
Zhuge Liang

3rd Tier: (Dong Zhuo), Sun Jian, Sun Quan,(Yue Ying), Zhou Yu

4th Tier: (Da Qiao), Huang Zhong, Meng Huo, Pang Tong, Sun Ce,
(Xiahou Yuan), (Xiao Qiao), Zhang Fei, Zhen Ji

5th Tier: (Cao Pi), Cao Ren, Diao Chan, Huang Gai, Lu Meng,
(Lu Xun), Taishi Ci, Xing Cai, Zhang He

Bottom Tier: Sun Shang Xiang, Xu Zhu, Zhang Jiao

3. Analysis

This is an individual analysis to explain why a certain character is
placed where they are and suggestions on how to use them in battle.

The format is this:
-Name: Self-explanatory.
-Placement: Where they are in the tier.
-4th: Their 4th Weapon wrote in this format:
Base Attack /Weight /Stat 1 /Stat 2 /Stat 3 /Stat 4 /Stat 5
-Advantages: Their useful moves, strengths.
-Disadvantages: Weaknesses.
-Signature: That character's best moves.
-Recommended Items: What Items can be used to accent a characters
power. Done in the following format:
The first three slots are omitted because they are usually dedicated
to Tiger Amulet, Tortoise Amulet, and Wind Scroll, unless otherwise
stated. If they are used, the letters T, T, and W, will be used
instead. A comma used other than with T,T,W, indicates that those are
interchangeable. If one says 'irrelevant' that means it doesn't matter
and use whatever you see fit.
Horse / Orb / T,T,W / Item 4 / Item 5
-Notes/Strategies: How they can effectively be used in combat.

3a. Top Tier

Name: Lu Bu
Placement: Top Tier
4th: 40 /Medium /Horse 20 /Attack 20 /Defence 20 /Life 19 /Musou 19
Advantages: Invincible C1, best C3 in the game, powerful 360 C5,
great multi-hit and 360 C6. Works with Shadow Orb and Green Scroll.
Amazing 4th, and above average Jump Charge and moveset overall.
Disadvantages: C2
Signature: C1, C3, C5, and C6.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Shadow, Fire / T,T,W / Green Scroll,Ginseng / Herbal Remedy
Notes/Strategies: The mighty Lu Bu... without a doubt a Top Tier
character. He possesses one of the best 4ths in the game and has an
arsenal of awesome moves. His C1 is an invulnerable attack with
auto-fire imbued, and his S String is fairly good. His C3 is his best
move. A 360 nonjuggling attack that is superb with a Green Scroll. The
finisher is great with a Shadow Orb. The C5 is great with Fire, being
a strong 360 juggler that is easy to continue, and the C6 is a
juggling 270 move with a lot of power on a frozen target, and a 360

Name: Ma Chao
Placement: Top Tier
4th: 38 /Medium /Horse 20 /Speed 15 /Defence 16 /Attack 17 /Life 15
Advantages: Horseback is powerful with +76 and is nigh untouchable.
Effective with Green Scroll, and Horse Charge is 360, fills musou. On
Ground, a 360 C1 and C6, an escape Jump Charge, and a powerful C3 make
a good moveset.
Disadvantages: C4.
Signature: Horse attacks, C3, C6.
Recommended Items:
Shadow / Ice / T,T,W / Horned Helm / Ginseng, Green Scroll
Notes/Strategies: Ma Chao is godly on a horse. So, use that to your
advantage. Always keep to the left side of a peon crowd when using his
Horse square, as it hits only the right side. His Horse Charge is best
used in the throng of a crowd, as it is 360 and will charge musou best
when hitting more peons.

3b. 1st Tier

Name: Cao Cao
Placement: 1st Tier
4th: 34 /Medium /Charge 17 /Bow 15 /Horse 17 /Attack 17 /Life 17
Advantages: Fire Orb C1, C3 covers a wide 180 range and fills musou
quickly, excellent 180 C4, 360 fast C5, multi-orb C6. Powered final
musou hit, effective with Green Scroll, and in mounted combat.
Strong 4th.
Disadvantages: Dash attack.
Signature: Horse combat, S String, C5, C6.
Recommended Items:
Shadow /Shadow, Ice, Fire /T,T,W /Green Scroll, Herbal Remedy /Ginseng
Notes/Strategies: If you are having problems getting off Cao Cao's C6
in a crowd, use his powerful S5 to wipe out or reel half the crowd,
then turn the attention of your C6 to the other half. The C6 is also
exceptional at destroying officers with any Orb, and for protection
since it has 270 coverage. The C5 is an awesome move, but be wary of
the slight hop preceding it, so use his capable S String to control
the crowd until his C5. His C3 is a very wide move and will fill Musou
almost instantly, be cautious, however, as it has some ending lag, so
activate Musou then to negate it. His C1 Fire Orb can be used to set
up a Fire juggle, which will greatly power Cao's Musou. Some may
choose to let the final hit miss the target to have a more pronounced
juggling opportunity.

Name: Gan Ning
Placement: 1st Tier
4th: 38 /Light /Charge 15 /Luck 18 /Speed 15 /Attack 19 /Musou 15
Advantages: Auto-fire C5, wide 360 C6. One of the best musous in the
game. Useful 4th.
Disadvantages: Short range S String, hops once. C3 hits only front and
Signature: C5, C6, Musou.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Fire, Ice / T,T,W / Ginseng / Peacock Amulet
Notes/Strategies: With Gan Ning, it's all about his C5, C6, and musou.
When aimed off to the side of an officer's guard, his C5 will always
connect and lets Gan Ning use his good juggling skills to use. His C6
quickly dispatches crowds, and his musou is useful for both officers
and crowds alike. Once mastered, his musou can usually get two strong
hits on any target and destroys crowds all by itself. For this reason,
be sure to equip a Ginseng and Windscroll to reach the full potential
of his musou. 

Name: Guan Ping
Placement: 1st Tier
4th: 36 /Medium /Charge 16 /Luck 15 /Bow 15 /Attack 17 /Life 15
Advantages: C3 has 360 degree shockwave at the end, a four-hit 360 C4
and a great and cool-looking C6. True musou is also good.
Disadvantages: Juggling musou and true musou, poor s string.
Signature: C3, C4.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Ice, Shadow / T,T,W / Herbal Remedy / Ginseng
Notes/Strategies: Guan Ping has several 360 moves, namely, his C3
shockwave, the four-hit C4, and his Musou. So live off them. While
performing his C4, he will be practically untouchable, so use it and
others to devastate crowds. The plentiful 360 attacks will make the
Shadow Orb useful for Guan Ping. Ice is better, though, since his
Musou juggles.

Name: Jiang Wei
Placement: 1st Tier 
4th: 36 /Medium /Luck 15 /Speed 15 /Attack 16 /Musou 18 /Life 17
Advantages: Very good S String/Evo Attack, Fire Orb C1, untouchable
C3, rushing two-hit C6, excels in range.
Disadvantages: 4th could be better...
Signature: S String, C3, Musou.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Ice, Shadow / T,T,W / Green Scroll / Ginseng
Notes/Strategies: Like Lu Bu, Jiang Wei is best used by wading into
crowds at their thickest. His String should take care of everything,
but use his C3 if you feel pressured, or alternate directions with his
S String. You can also use his C1 Fire Orb to set up a Fire juggle for
his Musou, and he is great with a Green Scroll.

Name: Pang De
Placement: 1st Tier Bold
4th: 36 /Light /Luck 15 /Horse 17 /Defence 15 /Attack 16 /Life 18
Advantages: C1 stomp, high C3, 360 C4, good C5, invincible C6. Deadly
Musou, and cavalry skills are very high indeed. S String full of wide
moves and 360.
Disadvantages: Slow running speed, a bit of lag on his C5.
Signature: Horse attacks, S String, Musou.
Recommended Items:
Shadow / Fire, Ice / T,T,W / Horned Helm / Ginseng
Notes/Strategies: Pang De is almost the equivalent of Ma Chao on a
Horse, so all of Ma Chao's strategies apply to him, except Pang De's
Horse Charge is best used slightly into the front of a crowd, where
it can hit as many targets as possible. His C3 can be used to claw
generals and peons alike from horses and from the sky, and using his
awesome Musou to wipe out officers and peons is equally easy. His C6
is good for approaching crowds, and his C1 if you're being swamped.
Of course, his S String can do all that and more.

Name: Wei Yan
Placement: 1st Tier Bold
4th: 36 /Medium /Charge 16 /Luck 15 /Defence 16 /Attack 18 /Musou 15
Advantages: One of the best C3s in the game, wide C4, protecting C6
and Musou. Good Jump Charge and great 4th.
Disadvantages: Hop C1, very slight lag on C4.
Signature: C3, C6, Musou.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Shadow / T,T,W / Herbal Remedy / Ginseng
Notes/Strategies: All Wei Yan needs to be effective is his C3, which
is powered by his Attack and Charge on his Weapon. So, equip a Shadow
Orb on Wei Yan, and wade into huge crowds of peons which are easily
decimated by one C3. The 360 nature of this attack charges the Shadow
Orb almost instantly, and kills in the same way.

Name: Xu Huang
Placement: 1st Tier
4th: 38 /Light /Fill 15 /Luck 15 /Speed 15 /Attack 17 /Life 18
Advantages: Stomp C1, 360 wide C3, 360 huge C4, 360 C6. Jump Charge
deals great damage, Musou is extension of C3 and thus above average.
Disadvantages: C5 can miss if a Wind Scroll is equipped (IE, against
an officer's guard, it won't hit.), a bit of lag after C6, 4th could
be better.
Signature: C3, Musou.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Fire, Ice / T,T,W / Herbal Remedy / Ginseng
Notes/Strategies: Xu Huang is most reliant on his C3, JC, and Musou.
use his Jump Charge to slaughter approaching crowds, and then his C1
if required for some breathing room. His C3 is perfect for wading
through crowds, and his Musou can be used as an extension of his C3
to juggle officers. If you want more devastation, use his C6.

Name: Zuo Ci
Placement: 1st Tier Bold
4th: 40 /Medium /Charge 15 /Fill 20 /Bow 15 /Defence 15 /Musou 20
Advantages: Decent jump charge (for combos plus landing safely), 360
horse charge, Dual Orb C1, high damage crowd clearing C4, unblockable
C5, fast C6 with dual orb activation, good range/great coverage attack
string, evo ender is his C4, great musou for damaging officers plus
huge 360 clearout at end, strong 4th.
Disadvantages: Slight lag on the C4, C3 not good in crowds.
Signature: C1, C4, C6, Musou.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Fire, Shadow / T,T,W / Ginseng / Herbal Remedy, Way of the
Musou, Arm Guards
Notes/Strategies: Zuo Ci is best used in the midst of crowds.
Alternate directions on attack string to give room to unleash C4. If
you can go without using Musou, just use evo string over and over
because of charge bracer C4 ender. If musou not charged, use C4 if
crowd is lighter or C5/C6 for heavier crowds. If you get interrupted,
unleash Musou with a tap for crowd clearer. For generals, let them
come at you and invite attack, then interrupt with full length Musou.

Setup A: Ginseng/Way of the Musou - This is the way I use him. Fire
and ice balls can be used to nail extra people on the Musou (can do
lots of damage pointblank on an officer), and ginseng is great because
you're always wanting to be back in evo string where you have the
auto bracer on the C4 ender. Sometimes I will substitute Herbal in
instead of Way.

Setup B: Arm Guards/Herbal Remedy. If you just want to use C4 and
nothing else then go with this setup, as you'll never have a problem
being interrupted. I do not think they are necessary. With proper use
of his C1, C5, C6 you should not have an issue with crowds and getting
a C4 off in it. If you think the crowd is too big to be safe about
pulling the C4, then go on to C5 or C6 which is quicker. As well he
has a great jump charge and can recover quickly out of being hit with
either that or his musou. 

3c. 2nd Tier

Name: Dian Wei
Placement: 2nd Tier
4th: 36 /Light /Charge 15 /Fill 15 /Attack 18 /Musou 17 /Life 17
Advantages: Stomp C1, good C4, great C5 and C6. True musou ender is
360 degrees.
Disadvantages: Poor range and a poor C3.
Signature: C5.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Fire, Ice, Shadow / T,T,W / Herbal Remedy / Ginseng
Notes/Strategies: His C5 is a good move. Use it, abuse it. A Fire Orb,
Ice, or Shadow works best, heck, any Orb will do. It has such an
enormous AoE that your only worry will be using your S String in the
crowds of Wu Zhang. Failing that, the same strategy applies to his C6,
and use his Musou if you're in trouble.

Name: Guan Yu
Placement: 2nd Tier
4th: 38 /Light /Charge 16 /Horse 16 /Defence 17 /Attack 18 /Life 18
Advantages: Wide S String, juggling C3 that has above average coverage,
360 C6, and a 360 Musou.
Disadvantages: Slow on foot, a poke in the S String, and his Light 4th
hurts his damage a bit.
Signature: C3, C6.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Fire, Ice, / T,T,W / Herbal Remedy / Arm Guards
Notes/Strategies: His C3 is quite a capable move. If the target is
being juggled, you can set up a Fire juggle with his C3, which means,
it is an infinitely juggling move. His C6 is fast and will pose no
trouble in the crowds of Wu Zhang, and it's effect is in like to his
Musou, so there is combo potential there.

Name: Ling Tong
Placement: 2nd Tier 
4th: 36 /Medium /Charge 16 /Speed 19 /Life 15 /Luck 16 /Attack 17
Advantages: Very fast S-String, great C4.
Disadvantages: Not a good jump charge, lag before and after his C6,
Musou has poor hitbox.
Signature: S String, C4.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Shadow, Ice / T,T,W / Herbal Remedy / Ginseng
Notes/Strategies: Spam his C4 with an Ice or Shadow Orb. That's it.

Name: Liu Bei
Placement: 2nd Tier Bold
4th: 36 /Medium /Luck 20 /Defence 18 /Speed 18 /Horse 15 /Musou 15
Advantages: Excellent C5, C6 and a superb Musou.
Disadvantages: Below average C4, poor weapon.
Signature: C5, C6, Musou.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Fire, Shadow / T,T,W / Ginseng / Way of Musou
Notes/Strategies: Liu Bei, like the other rulers, is a very well
balanced officer. His C5 is great 360, and with the Fire element does
superb in crowds, along with Shadow. The C6's 360 wave is a good
alternative if you want the crowd to stay on their feet, so as to be
hit be Liu Bei's excellent Musou. The finisher on it, even the normal,
is good. The True Musou finisher can be juggled afterward, so a C5
will do well to continue a good Fire juggle. The Ginseng readily
supports his Musou and provides a handy escape route.

Name: Sima Yi
Placement: 2nd Tier Bold
4th: 32 /Medium /Charge 15 /Defence 16 /Musou 19 /Fill 15 /Attack 15
Advantages: Ice Orb C1, a good crowd clearing C4, great musou and an
even greater true musou. Good 4th weapon.
Disadvantages: Does not have a very good C3. C6 is also not that good.
The range of his S-String is poor.
Signature: C4, Musou.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Ice / T,T,W / Ginseng / Dragon Amulet
Notes/Strategies: Sima Yi's musou is one of the best in the game. So
make sure to abuse it. Use his C4 to clear crowds and gain musou at
the same time. Try not to use C3 in crowds as it's quite useless. One
more note is that he should be equipped with the Ginseng so as to
allow him to gain his musou quickly, so you can use it whenever you

Xiahou Dun
Placement: 2nd Tier
4th: 36 /Medium /Charge 17 /Horse 16 /Defence 17 /Attack 17 /Musou 16
Advantages: Great stats overall. Higher attack power than a the
majority of sword users. Crowd clearing C1, fairly wide C3, excellent
C6. Powerful in horseback combat. S String is amazing.
Disadvantages: C3 has hop during the finisher. C5 has a miniscule AOE.
Signature: Horse combat, S String, C6.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare,Shadow /Fire /T,T,W /Way of Musou /Herbal Remedy, Ginseng
Notes/Strategies: The Wind Scroll really helps with this, and gives
him just an excellent range. The Herbal Remedy further powers his
charge attacks. His C1 can really be amazing. I urge people to go try
him out with these items. I also use Fire Orb and either
Red Hare/Shadow Harness on him, although Fire can be subbed with Ice.
He can really destroy with this setup.
That leaves his C5. I'll agree with that being quite horrible unless
you can manage to aim it at an officer.
And the hop. It's a disadvantage, but the move as a whole, his C3, is
still very usable and solid.
FAQ Writer's note: Spam the S String, it really is quite good. 

Name: Zhang Liao
Placement: 2nd Tier
4th: 37 /Medium /Life 17 /Attack 17 /Luck 15 /Horse 18 /Fill 15
Advantages: Nice 360 C1, good coverage on C3, C4 and C6 are 360. Jump
Charge is extremely powerful and crowd-clearing. Musou is good for
Disadvantages: C4 and C6 have a touch of lag, C5 is a hop tornado.
Signature: C3, C6.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Fire / T,T,W / Herbal Remedy / Ginseng
Notes/Strategies: Zhang Liao's C3 with a Wind Scroll is an extremely
safe move, so if you are feeling pressured rely on that to escape from
trouble. His C6 will knock out large crowds and damage them, using
it's base added to Fire Damage. His C4 has a bit of lag at the end so
be careful lest the backwards hop sends you into the clutches of a
peon. The Musou can devastate officers or clear crowds, but be warned
if you rotate it for crowds you WILL lose your target.

Name: Zhao Yun
Placement: 2nd Tier Bold
4th: 36 /Medium /Charge 16 /Attack 17 /Life 17 /Defence 17 /Musou 17
Advantages: Great range on his S-String, invincibility on his C1,
good C4 and above average weapon as well. Many 360 attacks.
Disadvantages: C3 combo is single target and he hops during C6.
Signature: S String, C4.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Fire, Ice / T,T,W / Herbal Remedy / Irrelevant 
Notes/Strategies: Zhao Yun's S String is great, featuring a wide
variety of 300 plus moves. The C3 has a great 360 ender, and the C1 is
an invincible charge. The C4 is 360 and pretty good, the C5 easily
goes behind guards, and his C6; though hops, is 360. His Musou,
however, is pretty bad.

Name: Zhou Tai
Placement: 2nd Tier
4th: 36 /Medium /Fill 16 /Attack 17 /Life 15 /Speed 15 /Musou 18
Advantages: Entire S moveset (with evo attacks) is horizontal. Very
powerful musou/true musou. Single sided horse attack makes it easy to
kill officers. C5 has huge AoE, and looks nice.
Disadvantages: C6 is single target. Lag after first C3 hit, C1 is
Signature: S String, Horse combat, C5, Musou.
Recommended Items:
Shadow / Fire, Shadow / T,T,W / Ginseng / Horned Helm
Notes/Strategies: Zhou Tai may have fallen somewhat from Dw4, but he
still retains some of his skill in his Musou, C3, and C5. The lack of
Horse on his weapon puts him a bit behind others who do, such as Cao
Cao, and Ma Chao. However, that still makes him a good
cavalry in his own right. Zhou Tai's bread and butter move is his
Musou, which is capable of destroying officers and crowds alike. It is
approx. 270 and is non-juggling, and so is capable of pounding the
life out of it's target. Aside from that, Zhou Tai has a superb S
String made of almost purely horizontal moves, which is great if you
are filling Musou or saving it for a tough enemy. The C3 is good for
dealing with weak or small crowds, as it hits fast and forward/back.
You will have to rotate Tai to hit the whole crowd though, and that
will lose you your single target.
His C5 is godly, one of the best in the game. It has negligible
beginning and ending lag, cool pose and nice graphic, and a huge 360
AoE. Use with Fire or Shadow for best results.
Zhou Tai's C6 is a tricky one. Double tap the Triangle button for
disgusting lag and auto-shadow, or tap it once or hold it for a quick
Orb activation of the one you have equipped. No brainer.

Name: Zhu Rong
Placement: 1st Tier
4th: 34 /Medium /Charge 16 /Fill 17 /Bow 15 /Defence 15 /Musou 18
Advantages: Long range C3, 360 C4, unblockable C6. Musou is 360 and
long range, extremely damaging. Great Horse charge, also.
Disadvantages: S String is a bit lacking, C1 could be better, C3
leaves sides open.
Signature: C4, Musou.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Ice / T,T,W / Charge Bracer / Ginseng
Notes/Strategies: With her 4th and these items, Zhu Rong will usually
find her Musou at hand. With the Ice element on her C4, she can freeze
crowds and fill up her Musou metre, and the C6's forward alignment
places the effect behind an officer's guard, hopefully freezing him.
Remember, the majority of Zhu Rong's 360 Musou attacks in front, so
keep your most dangerous enemies in front of you to bear the brunt of
the blast.

Name: Zhuge Liang
Placement: 2nd Tier
4th: 32 /Medium /Charge 18 /Bow 15 /Musou 20 /Fill 15/Defence 18
Advantages: Light Orb C1, unblockable C3, good crowd clearing C4,
extremely damaging musou and true musou.
Disadvantages: Hard to use C6 in crowds and S-String has poor range.
Signature: C4, Musou.
Notes/Strategies: Zhuge Liang, like Sima Yi, has one of the best musou
in the game. It's great for destroying both crowds and officers alike.
His C3 is an unblockable move that can be use to set up his musou.
Like Sima Yi, you should use his C4 to clear crowds and gain musou.
He, too, should be equipped with a Ginseng to allow him to gain and
use his musou whenever possible. 

3d. 3rd Tier

Name: Dong Zhuo
Placement: 3rd Tier Bold
4th: 36 /Medium /Luck 17 /Horse 17 /Defence 15 /Attack 18 /Life 15
Advantages: Decent C1 (stomp) and C3, Strong C6, non juggling musou
with clearout, good 4th.
Disadvantages: Bad C4 and not the quickest attacker. 
Signature: C5, C6, Musou.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Fire Orb / T,T,W / Way of Musou, Herbal Remedy / Ginseng
Notes/Strategies: Dong is just like any of the other rulers. He
relies on attack string, Musou and C6. Wade into crowds and use C6
over and over. His C5 is decent but not great for taking on officers.
Better to use his C3. Use regular Musou to take out officers (non
juggling) and crowds (body slam at end). Best to use Musou as a
recovery out of being hit. Or, you can use True Musou to use a
non-juggling Fire damaging attack, but the finisher is not as good as
his Musou one.

Name: Sun Jian
Placement: 3rd Tier
4th: 34 /Light /Fill 18 /Horse 16 /Defence 16 /Musou 15 /Life 15
Advantages: Good diagonal C3, extremely powerful C4, auto fire C5.
Musou is highly effective.
Disadvantages: C4 is only single target, C6 is very lacklustre.
Signature: C5, Musou.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Fire / T,T,W / Ginseng / Way of Musou
Notes/Strategies: Since Sun Jian has a Light weapon, and as such is
hurt severely for damage, rely on Fire damage to finish what you can't
do. His C5 is auto-fire, and with his True Musou nearly always
accessible with this setup, he can do that well. The C4 will burn
officers, and the C5 can take out crowds, or to cover yourself. The
Musou has wide 180 coverage, so that can easily handle crowds, but be
wary with the final slash that it doesn't send you careening into a
crowd of hungry peons, if you are not using Way of Musou.

Name: Sun Quan
Placement: 3rd Tier
4th: 34 /Medium /Charge 17 /Bow 15 /Musou 18 /Fill 15 /Attack 16
Advantages: C1 stomp, two-hit C4, auto-fire C5, good True Musou ender.
Disadvantages: Poor C6, some lag on C4, and True Musou juggles.
Signature: C5, Musou.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Fire / T,T,W / Ginseng / Charge Bracer
Notes/Strategies: First off, if you are feeling endangered by a crowd,
use his C1 to buy you breathing room, or time to set up a C4 or C5. C4
is better for deep crowds and C5 for officers and smaller crowds. The
best for both, of course, is his 180 Musou, which will clean house on
anything you put in front of him. But not behind, so be careful there.

Name: Yuan Shao
Placement: 3rd Tier
4th: 36 /Medium /Attack 18 /Horse 15 /Bow 15 /Defence 18 /Musou 17
Advantages: Good C5, excellent C6.
Disadvantages: Poor C4.
Signature: S String, C5, C6.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Fire, Ice / T,T,W / Herbal Remedy / Green Scroll, Way
of the Musou.
Notes/Strategies: Since Yuan Shao has a short sword even with his 4th
that you will be in no doubt using, the Wind Scroll would be wise
and gives him an ample boost of range for his S string. His S
string to me is an off set of Cao Cao's moveset in which they
both have no pokes and they use wide horizontal and diagonal
strikes. He's good with Fire or Ice orbs because of his C5 and C6
attacks are so great in range. His C5 being an area of 360° in
front of him like Sun Quan's C5 and his C6 which is the same as
Guan Yu's, Liu Bei's and others with a 360° wave. His Musou and 
True Musou are both non-juggling and can cause good damage. His
C1, C3, and C4 are fairly bad (with the possible exception of C3)
...but do not rely on them too much, instead use C5 and C6. Some
things to set up enemies are with his C6 with either of the orbs
and then head into a Musou...the C6 is great for filling your bar
up pretty fast so you shouldn't be worry about that.

Name: Yueying
Placement: 3rd Tier Bold
4th: 36 /Medium /Charge 15 /Horse 15 /Bow 16 /Defence 17 /Life 16
Advantages: Above average S String, long range C1, unblockable C5,
6-hit 360 C6 that can be comboed, Musou is the same. Great with Fire
and Ice Orbs.
Disadvantages: Juggling Musou and True, and hops after.
Signature: C6, Musou.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare, Shadow / Fire, Ice, Shadow / T,T,W / Ginseng / Way of Musou
Notes/Strategies: Since Yueying's C1 has been robbed of it's orb
effect, we now have a choice of primarily Ice or Fire, it really
depends whether you want a Fire Musou or Ice to increase the damage on
her juggling Musou. Her C6 is an exact duplicate of her Musou, so
those can be combined safely and effectively. If you will be using Way
of The Musou, I'd recommend a Light Orb. The Ice would stop the burn
effect, and there's Fire anyway. Other than that, her C4 is useful for
buying breathing room, and her Horse Charge can OHKO peons, in most
cases, because of the Horse/Charge combo on her weapon.

Name: Zhou Yu
Placement: 3rd Tier
4th: 34 /Medium /Charge 17 /Defence 15 /Musou 18 /Bow 16 /Attack 16
Advantages: Good all around stats. High attack power, good True Musou
ender. Very high juggling potential. Very high power on C6. Best
running attack in the game. Good crowd control C3. Good S/Evo string.
Fire Orb C1 adds safety, versatility and damage.
Disadvantages: Musou slashes cover low area. Hops on C5. C3
lacks maneuverability. C4 is weak without a safe musou cancel. C6 is
only a generic slash and can only be used effectively if the entire
crowd is in front.
Signature: S String, dash attack, C3.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Fire / T,T,W / Ginseng / Way of Musou
Notes/Strategies: Surprisingly, Zhou Yu has a balanced skill that
rivals the rulers. His S String is purely horizontal and thus highly
abusable; perfect for any situation: thick crowds, or single officers.
Another crowd alternative is to use C3, it has nigh 360 range and
provides at least limited safety. His C4, though hops, can be canceled
by his Musou. That Musou, when True and normal, can be continued as a
juggle afterward. His Dash attack is great for routing weak crowds,
and his C6 can demolish larger crowds if aimed right.

3e. 4th Tier

Name: Da Qiao
Placement: 4th Tier Bold
4th: 32 /Heavy /Attack 16 /Defence 15 /Life 15 /Musou 19 /Luck 18
Advantages: Very solid S string with a great amount of 360 coverage
(Seven hits), quick crowd control C4, 360 blast C6.
Disadvantages: Bad lag time on C1 orb, C5 is too slow to juggle with,
C6 has both starting and ending lag, horse attacks are slow.
Signature: S String, C4.
Notes/Strategies: With her heavy weapon, Da Qiao loses much of her
charge attacks' usefulness (such as her C1 and C5 which suffer from
heavy lagtime and should typically be avoided), but she gains great
statistical power from her weapon bonuses. Her S string has great,
constant coverage and is powerful enough that it will be her primary
tool for fighting both crowds and officers alike. Her C4 remains quick
and is a great way to control crowds or get a power orb effect. Her C6
has a bit of starting lag, but can still be used sparingly in average
sized crowds of peons. Da Qiao works best with the Ice Orb (mainly for
her C4), and it is wise to equip the Way of Musou to make her musou
potent at dispatching officers.

Name: Huang Zhong
Placement: 4th Tier
4th: 36 /Light /Fill 18 /Horse 15 /Bow 20 /Defence 15 /Musou 15
Advantages: Seven-hit C1, wide 180 C3, good C4, Jump Charge good for
escaping and moving. Musou has decent crowd control and deals decent
Disadvantages: Light 4th with no attack hurts his damage, C5 is
a whirlwind, C6 has poor range.
Signature: C1, Jump Charge.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Fire, Light / T,T,W / Herbal Remedy / Huang's Bow, Fire
Notes/Strategies: This setup gives Huang Zhong that +60 to his arrows
that he needs so desperately to make up for having a Light weapon
without attack. First, if you are in the middle of a crowd, you're
fighting poorly. Use your musou to clear the crowd away a few, and
jump-charge your way out. When fighting peons, just spam C1 over and
over again, and if they get close, use your jump charge repeatedly to
move away.  In fact, use your jump charge to move, as it is faster
than your walking speed.  Use your jump charge to clear obstacles, as
well - there are many walls that Huang Zhong can clear that nobody
else in the game can, because its use pushes him slightly higher into
the air.
Next, when fighting officers, use C3 with your light orb to break
defenses and put them off balance, and spam C1 into them.  With his
light 4th weapon, and fire arrows, you are going to be juggling them
for surprising damage.
If you cannot isolate an officer so that you can utilize that strategy
effectively, back away using your jump charge.  And spam C1 in the
officer's direction.  If you are far enough away, they won't bother
defending against the oncoming damage, and you'll thin the crowd they
are traveling with as an additional bonus.
You are going to be standing still for long periods of time - archers
are actually going to pose the largest danger to you.  Your C1 does
not have the range of a normal arrow, so take your bow out properly,
and clear the region out.
Fire arrows improve both your C3 and your C1.  Abuse the
defense-ignoring power fire grants you.
For additional enemy abuse, bring along a body guard.  A melee body
guard can slow enemies long enough for your arrows to be abusive. An
archer body guard is my preference, however, for the crossfire
potential with C1.Huang Zhong himself performs best on the fringes of
crowds with his C1 and C3, so if you find yourself surrounded
suddenly, use his Jump Charge to escape if you can, if not, let's hope
you have a Musou handy. Another note: His Jump Charge lands him
backwards, facing the crowd, so to continue your escape you'll need to
turn around lest you are sent right back into the clutches of the

Name: Meng Huo
Placement: 4th Tier
4th: 36 /Light /Charge 15 /Fill 15 /Horse 15 /Attack 18 /Life 19
Advantages: Powerful 360 C3, solid C5, good 360 C6 and musou. Horse
charge is damaging, and true musou adds an extra 9 hits. Great 4th.
Disadvantages: Poor range, C1 is only useful for mobility, C4 is slow
and weak, jump attacks are poor, regular horse attacks have bad range.
Signature: C3, C6, Musou.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Fire, Ice / T,T,W / Ginseng / Way of Musou, Herbal Remedy
Notes/Strategies: Meng Huo is a master of 360 moves. His C3, C5, C6,
JC, Musou, all 360. So abuse them. Something else that made Meng Huo
able to survive when we pitted him on Wu Zhang Plains on Chaos, is his
Horse Charge. Having a bonus of 48 from his weapon alone enables it to
take down crowds and fill his Musou, at the same time. When said Musou
is full, simply dismount and destroy the remnants of the crowd.
Nothing to it, really.

Name: Pang Tong
Placement: 4th Tier 
4th: 32 /Medium /Fill 18 /Luck 15 /Bow 16 /Defence 17 /Life 15
Advantages: Unique Wind C1, good untapped C3, 360 C4, 360 C6, and
Spammable Musou.
Disadvantages: Lag on C4, pointless Jump Charge, lacks range.
Signature: C6, Musou.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Ice / T,T,W / Ginseng / Way of Musou
Notes/Strategies: Pang Tong is a Musou Spammer, and his item setup
reflects it. The Ginseng should ensure that he always has a Musou on
hand, and the Ice Orb should freeze the target, thus increasing the
damage for his juggling Musou. I you don't freeze, no matter, you'll
have Fire damage instead from the Way of Musou. In crowds, an untapped
C3 should buy you enough time for a C4 or C6. If you are in red health
and waiting for your bar to fill, use his Jump Charge to escape harm
until that Musou is ready. That same Jump Charge can be useful for
knocking officers off horseback, but it can be tricky.

Name: Sun Ce
Placement: 4th Tier
4th: 36 /Medium /Charge 15 /Attack 18 /Life 15 /Speed 18 /Musou 15
Advantages: Quick S String, good 360 C3, useful 360 C4, and auto-fire
unblockable C5, and fast 360 C6.
Disadvantages: Musou and True Musou juggles, horrible horse attacking.
Signature: C3, C4, C5, C6.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Fire, Ice / T,T,W / Way of Musou / Ginseng
Sun Ce most definitely needs the Wind Scroll to survive, if it only
helps his Musou, C3 and C6. Sun Ce has a move for all occasions... in
crowds, his C3, C4, or C6 perform excellently. For officers, be right
against their block and unleash his C5. The forward nature of it will
cause it to go behind the officer's guard and hit him, and the
auto-fire on it allows you to use Ice Orb and still be a great
juggler. The S String is also usable on officers as the final hit will
launch you forward behind them to use a True Musou or the equivalent.
Two notes; The True Musou ender is a copy of his C5, so that's a
perfect Fire juggle all ready. The C3 is a good C3, so use that in
strong crowds if you can't make it through the S String to C4 or C6.

Name: Xiahou Yuan
Placement: 4th Tier Bold
4th: 36 /Medium /Charge 16 /Bow 19 /Attack 16 /Musou 17 /Life 17
Advantages: Strong C1 (arrow attacks), decent C4, wide C6, good True
Musou ender, good 4th.
Disadvantages: C3 lacks range, C5 is slow and doesn't have much range.
C6 not usable on officers due to start up lag.
Signature: C1, C6, Musou.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Fire, Ice / T,T,W / Herbal Remedy / Way of the Musou
Notes/Strategies: Yuan works best by coming in from the edge of a
crowd, but is effective in the middle of crowds too. C1 will thin
crowds and C6 will clear crowds effectively. C4 should be used if
you're in the middle of a crowd. Make sure to have Way of the Musou on
and use Musou anytime a crowd gets too heavy to get C4/C6 off in.
Use C3 once crowd is cleared on officers.

Name: Xiao Qiao
Placement: 4th Tier Bold
4th: 32 /Heavy /Charge 17 /Fill 15 /Speed 19 /Defence 15 /Musou 15
Advantages: Strong juggling ability despite heavy weapon, C4 can be
turned for near 360 coverage, musou is very damaging against officers,
jump charge is good for both attacking crowds and escaping them.
Disadvantages: S string has a hop in it, C1 has no real use, both C6
and musou are single-target attacks, running attack is the worst in
the game, horse attacks are slow.
Signature: C4, Jump Charge.
Notes/Strategies: Xiao Qiao's C4 is easily her best charge attack,
and should always be turned with the joystick to get near 360 degree
coverage. This gives her an easy, effective, and safe way to fight
crowds. Used in combination with her jump charge, which is useful for
both attacking and escaping crowds, Xiao Qiao can quickly thin out
surrounding enemies. Be sure to equip the Fire Orb, since Xiao Qiao is
a potent juggler. When fighting officers, a C3 (untapped if need be)
is the best way to start a juggle. Then use her C6 for both extra
damage and to prepare your aim for her musou attack, which should be 
activated just before her C6 ends. Properly aimed, her musou is
extremely powerful against officers but can be used effectively
against crowds by just tapping circle for the clearing ender. 

Name: Zhang Fei
Placement: 4th Tier
4th: 39 /Light /Fill 16 /Attack 19 /Defence 15 /Horse 16 /Musou 17
Advantages: Excellent C3, useful C4, good C5 and C6.
Disadvantages: Poor footspeed, horrid S string.
Signature: C3, C5.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Fire, Ice / T,T,W / Ginseng / Herbal Remedy
Notes/Strategies: Zhang Fei may lose a bit of his potential from
having a Light weapon, he is somewhat compensated by having his S
String reduced somewhat in ineffectiveness. His C3 is fast and good,
and his C4 and C6 are nice 360, and his C5 isn't bad at all. Since his
S String lacks so much, the Herbal Remedy lends a lot of power to the
C3, C4, C5, and C6. Though his Musou lacks, he needs the Ginseng to
provide an escape route in case of error.

Name: Zhen Ji
Placement: 4th Tier
4th: 32 /Medium /Fill 20 /Horse 17 /Bow 18 /Defence 18 /Life 17
Advantages: C1 Orb, great jump charge, good C6, and a great musou.
Disadvantages: Poor C3, single-target C4, bit of lag on C6. Poor range
as well.
Signature: C6, Musou.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Fire, Ice / T,T,W / Ginseng / Way of Musou
Notes/Strategies: Zhen Ji's only move that can be considered excellent
is her Musou, so the item setup is built to maximize that. The Ginseng
will allow it to be accessible more often, and you will have a choice
of a non-juggling Musou or a Fire one. If the non-juggling is the one
you want, go from ice C6 to Musou and hope that the target(s) is(are)
frozen. If not, simply use it whenever and the Way of Musou will
provide you with the Fire juggle.
For building Musou, her C5, though whirlwind, is very quick and has
next to no lag. Her S String, though short range, has a few 360 kicks
thrown in for good measure.

3f. 5th Tier

Name: Cao Pi
Placement: 5th Tier
4th: 34 /Medium /Fill 15 /Speed 19 /Defence 15 /Attack 15 /Musou 19
Advantages: Ice Orb C1, C3 has 270 coverage, enormous C5. Ice Orb
Can be used after every Charge, save C3 (By pressing S). Vorpal Orb
can be unleashed after his Evo.
Disadvantages: Short range, slow attack speed, lag on C5.
Signature: C1 versatility, C3, C5, Musou
Recommended Items:
Red Hare /Fire, Shadow /T,T,W /Charge Bracer, Way of Musou /Ginseng
Notes/Strategies: Cao Pi has a relatively slow attack speed, so be
sure to abuse his Ice Orb versatility to set up his combos. I'd
recommend using his C4 -> Ice Orb -> C5  for a way to deal with
crowds. If it's a light crowd, his C3 alone will work fine, it's 270
effect keeping hium safe for the time being. His Musou is a copy of
his C3, so take note of that for possible Fire juggling. Regarding his
C5, it is best used with Shadow Orb, methinks, for large crowd levels
like Wu Zhang and Fire for smaller ones like Guan Yu's Escape.
Again, be wary of being hit while using Charge Bracer as the damage
will be more than normal. 

Name: Cao Ren
Placement: 5th Tier
4th: 32 /Light /Fill 15 /Bow 15 /Defence 18 /Attack 15 /Life 19
Advantages: C3 fires much faster and more often, basically making it
deadlier. Musou is good, but not the best. Great 4th.
Disadvantages: Useless C6, slow as all hell on his feet. Somewhat
useless C4. Last hit of true musou can be blocked.
Poor range. Average Evo string.
Signature: C3.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Light / T,T,W / Herbal Remedy / Ginseng
Notes/Strategies: Cao Ren's best move is his C3, a projectile
multihit. And that should be his move for all occasions, except in the
midst of a crowd. If that should happen, use his Musou and attempt to
escape to the fringes, which is the best place to use C3 from. With
the Light Orb imbued on the C3, he should be able to halt approaching
solders and hopefully kill or maim most of them. Same thing for
officers. His S String may look reliable because of the auto-Arm
Guards, but that only saves it from being dismal. The low range on it
will leave him open to attack, and that attack will deal more damage
because of Cao Ren's inability to be juggled.

Name: Diao Chan
Placement: 5th Tier
4th: 32 /Heavy /Fill 18 /Luck 18 /Speed 19 /Defence 16 /Musou 18
Advantages: Excellent C6 with excellent damage and refreeze potential,
nice C4.
Disadvantages: Horrible heavy weapon, poor range on S string and most
charge moves, musou has mediocre range.
Signature: C4, C6.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Ice / T,T,W / Way of Musou / Charge Bracer
Notes/Strategies: Diao Chan is crippled by her Heavy weapon, so we
have to play defensively to make it work. The Ice Orb gives her C6
double-freezing potential, and her C4's two-hit Orb will work. Like
Pang Tong, she can hit a frozen target with her Musou for increased
damage or burn an unfrozen one. The Charge Bracer will help her stay
on her feet, but be careful; as it only prevents you from being
knocked down, not the damage. And since being juggled prevents the
damage, be prepared for some heavy hits.

Name: Huang Gai
Placement: 5th Tier
4th: 36 /Medium /Charge 15 /Luck 16 /Defence 17 /Attack 17 /Life 15
Advantages: Good C4, auto fire C5, and 360 C6. Wide, sweeping Musou
attack, though awkward to juggle.
Disadvantages: Short and ineffective C3, S String has far too many
vertical attacks.
Signature: C5, Musou.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Fire / T,T,W / Ginseng / Way of Musou
Notes/Strategies: Huang Gai is an odd character. His Musou would be a
great juggler, but for some reason he has trouble connecting the blows
to combo. He has short range kicks for a C3, overall kinda
ineffective. However, he does have a good C4, and an auto-fire C5
worthy of notice. C6, last time I checked, was a great move. Musou CAN
be juggled with, but be sure you don't drop the enemy.

Name: Lu Meng
Placement: 5th Tier
4th: 36 /Medium /Charge 15 /Horse 15 /Life 17 /Defence 17 /Bow 15
Advantages: Regular musou does not juggle, 360 C6.
Disadvantages: Poor range on most of his charge moves, hops during his
charge moves, and lacklustre range overall for a polearm user.
Signature: C6.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Fire / T,T,W / Ginseng / Herbal Remedy
Notes/Strategies: Lu Meng's Charge moves are fairly limited, his only
decent ones being C1, C3, and C5. The Ginseng will help him reach his
crowd clearing material, his Musou, but until then use C3 on crowd
and C5 on officers. Be careful with his Musou, though, as the wide hit
can sometimes miss the target because of the high angle, but you
should be fine on the smaller swing. Don't use his Jump Charge too
often as the move forward can and will cause you to lose your target.
His Musou is superior to his True Musou if you can manage to kill the
crowd with it, but otherwise you're left with a barely-standing crowd
of enraged peons.

Name: Lu Xun
Placement 5th Tier Bold
4th: 34 /Medium /Fill 15 /Luck 18 /Speed 20 /Attack 15 /Musou 19
Advantages: Above average attack speed, C3 is strong against a single
lone officer, 360 C6, has attack on a medium weapon.
Disadvantages: Low attack range on S string and charge moves, hops on
C3 and C4, minor hop on C5, True Musou has short range and juggles.
Signature: C6, Musou.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Fire, Ice / T,T,W / Ginseng / Demon Band, Irrelevant
Notes/Strategies: Lu Xun... so young! Sorry, couldn't resist. ;)
Anyway, Lu Xun possesses a very quick S String with a bit of range,
not bad, not great. His C3, being only 3 combo, deals great damage to
officers; but be wary as the aerial nature of it makes him susceptible
to juggling. His C4 is fairly nice, as though it hopes it is two-hit
wide 180: a fair tradeoff. The C5, again, hops, but is quick and has a
short 360 AoE. His C6 and Musou are his best: C6 is a two-hit 360 Orb
attack, nice damage on it, while his Musou is a nice 360 non-juggling
attack, capable of hitting an officer twice on each spin be making
certain you hit them as soon as you come around.

Name: Taishi Ci
Placement: 5th Tier
4th: 38 /Medium /Charge 15 /Horse 15 /Bow 15 /Defence 18 /Life 18
Advantages: Has a great jump charge, good C1 and a very damaging C5.
Musou is an officer killer.
Disadvantages: C3 is not very good. C4 is only useful when used at
edge of crowds. The last hit of his C6 can be blocked.
Signature: Jump Charge, C5.
Notes/Strategies: Taishi Ci's jump charge is a good and damaging move.
It's best used on crowds. His two hit C5 is another good and damaging
move. It works very well on officers and on the edge on crowds. His
musou is an officer killer. One musou and you can take out a generic
officer on Hard mode. His Horse charge is also a good move.

Name: Xing Cai
Placement: 5th Tier
4th: 34/ Medium /Horse 15 /Speed 16 /Defence 17 /Musou 17 /Life 15
Advantages: Decent C1 Stunner and jump charge, Great spinning element
C3, quick attack speed. Dash attack excellent and horse combat excels.
Disadvantages: 3 consecutive pokes on attack string, causing it to be
blockable. Lag on C5, hop on C1.
Signature: C3.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare, Shadow / Ice / T,T,W / Herbal Remedy / Green Scroll, Ginseng
Notes/Strategies: At first glance, Xing Cai may seem like a one-trick
pony, but there's more to her than just C3 and Musou. There is no
doubt that C3 is her best move, and that Musou is best for officers,
but there are alternatives. Her Jump Charge can be used to escape, and
her Dash attack has a nice 360 ender, so that can be useful. Her Horse
combat is really where she can shine. Her wide sweeping S attacks,
coupled with her Horse on Ambition, can enable her to much through
crowds on horse the same way she does with C3. Since the mounted
attacks are fairly swift, you stand less of a chance of being knocked
off if you are using red Hare, and an opportunity for Green Scroll as
But C3 is Xing Cai's bread-and-butter, so on to that. It's 360 nature
will quickly fill her Musou metre, which, when used on a frozen
officer, will knock out a large chuck of his/her health. The freeze
effect should cover any mistakes you make, and give you plenty of time
to make up your mind. Something very interesting I noticed is that
using her C3 repeatedly on a frozen officer will rack up a Combo. As
long as the officer is strong enough to survive it, that is. The
timing of C3 will make the element finisher arrive precisely when the
target unfreezes.

Name: Zhang He
Placement: 5th Tier
4th: 36 /Medium /Charge 15 /Fill 15 /Speed 19 /Attack 16 /Musou 19
Advantages: Good C3 and a fast C5, quick S String.
Disadvantages: Not-so-good C1, poor C6 and poor musou.
Signature: C3.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Ice / T,T,W / Ginseng / Way of Musou
Notes/Strategies: Zhang He may not be the favourite of all players
because of his ... nature... but he does have his adoring fans.
Moveset wise, he has a quick S String that is unfortunately lacking
when it comes to range, not having a single horizontal move. His C1 is
basically single target and hops, and his C4 is only good for raids
or as an escape move. Though he hops during his C5, it is a fast move.
He's best attacks, however, are his C3 and C6. C3 may be basically a
short range single target mess, but it demolishes officer life, and
his C6, though it only hits in front, has nice 180 range for crowds.
His Musou is slightly erratic, but with practice, one can land every
hit one a target... and then it is bearable.

3g. Bottom Tier

Name: Sun Shang Xiang
Placement: Bottom Tier
4th: 32 /Heavy /Luck 19 /Bow 15 /Speed 19 /Defence 17 /Life 15
Advantages: 360 C4, five-hit 360 C6. Every horse attack is
Disadvantages: Her Heavy cripples her, slow C1, lag on C4, hops during
C5, slow and pointless Jump Charge, Musou juggles. Horse attacks
painfully slow.
Signature: C6.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Fire, Ice / T,T,W / Way of Musou / Ginseng
Notes/Strategies: It's a pity... Sun Shang Xiang (hereafter referred 
To as SSX) was once a 1st Tier character, but her Heavy weapon has
sunk her to Bottom Tier. With a Heavy, her C1, C5, and horse combat
are unbearable, don't even use them. Her C4 takes a bit of time to get
off, and that's an understatement, but it's 360, so hey. Her C3 and C6
are nice 360 moves not to badly affected by the Heavy weight. Her
Musou, once her pride and joy, now juggles, making it worth half off
what it once was. Which is still good.

Name: Xu Zhu
Placement: Bottom Tier
4th: 38 /Light /Fill 17 /Luck 15 /Bow 19 /Defence 19 /Life 20
Advantages: Good C4, C6.
Disadvantages: Poor C3, lag before C4, poor musou. No attack or charge
stat on weapon to compensate the damage lost due to the weight.
Signature: None.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Light, Ice / T,T,W / Speed Scroll / Way of Musou
Notes/strategies: Xu Zhu is without a doubt one of the worst officers
in the game, so making him work can be tricky. Slapping on a Speed
Scroll is a necessity since he doesn't have Speed on his weapon
anymore, and he won't be able to walk to his target without being
swamped, even with Red Hare. Way of Musou is equipped to avoid that
horrendous fall at the end of his normal Musou. Xu Zhu is hurt
severely for damage by the lightweight weapon, so nothing can save him
there. A Light Orb is equipped because if Xu Zhu gets caught after a
Charge with no Musou, he is in serious trouble.
Basically, to use him, Try his C6 and C4 for getting out of messes,
maybe his Jump Charge. His C3 is useless in a crowd, so avoid it. The
C5 can be helpful, but all in all, the Light weight with no attack
hurts any chance he had of being good.

Name: Zhang Jiao
Placement: Bottom Tier
4th: 34 /Medium /Charge 16 /Fill 9 /Defence 18 /Musou 19 /Life 17
Advantages: Stomp C1, shockwave C3, unblockable C5, good Fire Musou
and decent coverall Jump Charge.
Disadvantages: Lacks range, bad 4th.
Signature: C4.
Recommended Items:
Red Hare / Ice / T,T,W / Ginseng / Demon Band
Notes/Strategies: Zhang Jiao is an officer with very little coverage
and as such is easy to knock around. The Ice element buys time with an
untapped C3 to give Zhang Jiao breathing room, or if he is swarmed
beyond hope a single C1 will knock down the entire immediate crowd and
filling up Musou to boot. Since Zhang Jiao is stuck with a Light
weapon with sans attack, he has little to no choice but to rely on
Fire damage, and that can easily be obtained via his Musou, which is
the reason he is given a Ginseng in the setup. However, you still may
have trouble killing officers and/or crowds, so he is given the Demon
Band in the hope that a good long Musou Rage will give him the power
he needs to win and give him the KOs necessary to obtain another Musou
Rage Token.

3h. Tips and Hints


4. Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why isn't <name> high on the list? He's better than everyone else,
A: See Analysis, and our archived posts.
Answer about Ling Tong: Ling tong is seen by many as Top Tier
material, but he simply lacks versatility, his only good move being

Q: You're stupid! I'm not satisfied!
A: They have been thoroughly discussed, and we had come to the
conclusion that your character is fine where he is. We didn't make
+2300 posts for nothing, you know.

Q: Why is having a Lightweight 4th counted as a disadvantage
sometimes? What does weight do?
A: You can't see it, but weapon weight affects damage. Some members of
the Message Board figured out that, using a Average as 100% damage,
Heavy comes in at 125% and Light at 75%. This means that Light weapons
lose about 1/4 of damage, and can only be equaled to Average by
having a built-in Tiger Amulet. In other words, a having a Light
weapon subtracts about a Lv. 20 tiger Amulet from your power. Heavy
is vice versa.

Q: The Shadow Orb sucks, why is it in some set-ups?
A: Anyone with wide attacks or a 360 attack will do well with a Shadow
Orb, particularly if they have a good S String, because they can use
that to attack if they want to use Musou. For example, take Wei Yan
and Xing Cai. They both have 360 C3s, and juggling Musous. A Shadow
Orb would enable them to take out crowds in one hit, but they would
have a harder time with officers.

Q: Tier lists are all opinion, they don't matter.
A: I know, that's we established a discussion with many people
taking part. To discard any personal bias or opinion. If one person
favoured a certain character, they would have to convince everyone
else for a change to be made.

Q: This should be done on Chaos mode! Hard mode is for wimps!
A: Unfortunately, I get this question asked a lot. The reason we decided
- long ago in the first topic- to base this off hard mode is because
back then as now, the majority of players play primarily on hard mode.
As well, our 'official' reason for this tier is to help newbie players
out when item hunting and levelling up. On Hard mode.

5. Special Thanks/Credits
Dynasty Warriors 5 message board members:

Universal Paradox, for creating the first topic and starting us out.

SkinnyGuy, for being there from the start and contributing immensely
in the style of the tier and the tier itself, and adding some analyses
as well.

GeneralGuan, for also being there from the start and contributing.
Bonus credit for archiving the topics, and contributing analyses.

Spralwers, for also making huge contributions and suggestions.

Eeeevil Overlord, for lending his tournament experience to our topic
and also contributing. He is to be commended for a 300 post discussion
in favour of Lu Xun.

jhaines, for his research regarding weapon weight and being the first
to suggest a Musou rage minded strategy. Also contributed immensely.

Myself, Teschio, for being there form the start and contributing, and
making some analyses. Also, for writing this FAQ and maintaining and
updating the Tier list and topics.

Arakasius, for entering near the 3rd topic and taking off right away.
He also contributed several analyses.

CheesyCharlie, for scare but detailed posts, and contributing some

SHADOW JACKY, for posting some info and contributing to the tier, and
for making some analyses.

Ilovehunny, lordpangtong, Anubis, and Brett8, for entering in the
later half of topic 4 and helping to add finishing touches to the tier.

Luminiaire, for suggesting a way, though we did not use it, to create
a Chaos mode Tier List.

Adirian Soan, for adding to Huang Zhong's analysis.

SilverMoonChild, for coming back after everything was said and done on
behalf of Diao Chan.

Mentions: (These are people who dropped by to contribute one or two 
Meph Suit
Mr. Noddle

End DW5 Board credit list.

Myself, for making this guide.

EChang, whose FAQ we checked to for 4ths when there was nothing else.

Rampidzier, for his very competent FAQ/Walkthrough in which we found
everything we needed. Even though he personally is against tiers,
that's fine.

CJayC, for hosting this FAQ.

Koei, for making this great game.

You can contact me at sang_demon@hotmail.com

Copyright Dante Aaron Daigle, 2005.